Album: Cosmic Sorrows
Genre: Symphonic extreme metal
Do you remember those chance encounters that turn into full-blown love affairs at first listen? The bands who tell you, from the first moment, that you are going to highly enjoy whichever brand of music they have to offer? This affair happened with me, the band in question being Svartalvheim, a New Zealand band I discovered while researching for the There’s Metal Here series (post here). Their music is symphonic extreme metal, evoking influences from both Greek and Italian quarters, but their style is unique enough to avoid cries of plagiarism. Cosmic Sorrows is the début album, after an untitled EP in 2009, and it’s a rip-roaring ride from full-on blasts to flowing cinematic orchestration, and a frequent melding of the two.
The post got messed up, so reposting it now. Sorry about that.
Name: Trevor Strnad
Associated acts: The Black Dahlia Murder
Trevor Strnad is an extreme metal vocalist of Detroit origin, although his name is of Polish descent. Mostly known for his work in The Black Dahlia Murder, Trevor has a reputation for being an extreme metal and horror movie addict with a great if wicked sense of humor. When not delivering his trademark maniacal howls and guttural grunts, he’s been known to play Dungeons And Dragons, or partaking in certain homegrown hallucinogenic drugs. His writing can also be found in his ‘Deadspeak’ column for Gun Shy Assassin.
There seems to be something about Scotland that means they are able to create some kickass death and thrash metal. From the fast-rising death metal act Cerebral Bore to the thrashier end of Achren, the country’s provided some cool releases over the years, and recently-formed power-trio Diementia have been doing their bit for giving the scene a kick up its collective behind, and they’re set for more ass-kicking very soon.
Genre: Blackened death metal
Many metal groups claim to and succeed in mixing together styles, but this usually comes in sections, swinging from one extreme to another. Fewer bands manage to synthesize aspects of two opposing styles (in this case, black and death metal) into a hybrid that satisfies both camps, but US new-schoolers Centimani have done an excellent job on their début album Aegaeon. Taking the best parts of Ex Deo and Dimmu’s symphonic elements, they also inject their own love of Roman and Ancient Greek history to create some strong tracks that follow on nicely from their EP Usurping The Throne Of Flesh.
Welcome back to There’s Metal Here, volume…7 already?! Are you Syrious? And linked to that, this time we’re going to make a return to the Middle East, to a war-torn country called Syria, which has been in the news a lot recently due to bombings. As a result of this and the government’s belief that all metal is Satanic and therefore a punitive offense, there is not a huge thriving scene here (as you may have guessed). Still, a few bands have managed to make their way at some point or another, although many have had to emigrate or regrettably split up. Here, I present a handful of the talent that Syria has to offer, mostly from Damascus.
Returning with their 2nd offering after a hiatus, and 8th in total, Greek atmospheric death metal band Septicflesh have taken a reversed songwriting approach in The Great Mass, and formed the classical foundations before applying the bludgeoning metal. What results is a neurotic mix of the two which some may consider watered down, and others an innovative approach that certainly beats other recent attempts .
Artist: Amon Amarth, supported by As I Lay Dying and Septicflesh
Venue: Orpheum Theater, Graz, AT
Genre: Viking death metal/Metalcore/Symphonic death metal
Marking my second concert abroad, I decided to head along to one of my favorite live acts, Swedish Viking death metal band Amon Amarth, supported by American metalcore with As I Lay Dying and opened with Greek sympho-death Septicflesh. So a fairly international scene, although it was clear from the t-shirts in the crowd that Amon Amarth were by far the dominant favorites. And to top it off, this was performed in a theater, converted for the gig with some hard flooring in the pit.
On this flooring as I walked in, I spied two metalheads dancing to Jet on the PA, which always is a good indication for a fun evening.